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BreakingNew:FG closes case against Onnoghen after 3 witnesses

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Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, after it produced only three witnesses that testified before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT.

Suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen Though FG initially expressed its intention to produce a total of six witnesses to substantiate all the allegations it levelled against the embattled CJN, however, shortly after the third witness was discharged, the prosecution counsel told the tribunal that it would be unnecessary to call further witnesses.

The prosecution counsel, Mr. Aliyu Umar, SAN, told the tribunal that the defendant was at liberty to summon any of the listed but uncalled witnesses to testify on his behalf if he so wished. He was immediately overruled by the CCT Chairman, Mr. Danladi Umar, even as Onnoghen’s lawyer, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, rejected the offer.

“This is the case of the prosecution. If it feels that it is satisfied with evidence of the three witnesses, then so be it”, the CCT Chairman held. Thereafter, Awomolo told the tribunal that the CJN would in line with section 303 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015, enter a no case submission with respect to all the allegations FG levelled against him. Awomolo, therefore, applied for record of proceedings of the tribunal to enable his client to file the necessary processes.

The case was subsequently adjourned till next week Friday for hearing of the no-case application by the embattled CJN, as well as for adoption of the final written addresses. Earlier in the proceeding, the third prosecution witness, PW-3, Mr. Ifeoma Okagbue, a staff of Standard Chartered Bank in Abuja, told the tribunal that it was not true that the defendant possessed either $1million or £1million in any of the five bank accounts that necessitated the charge. Okagbue who told the tribunal that she started managing Onnoghen’s bank accounts since 2015, gave a load down of both the opening and closing balance of all the accounts from January 2018 to January 2019.

She said the accounts were all linked to one Bank Verification Code, BVN, adding that the bank had upon securing an approval from the defendant, diverted funds from the accounts into various profit yielding ventures. The PW-3 told the tribunal that profits that accrued from the investments were credited back into the accounts. While two of the accounts are in Naira, the three others were Pounds Sterling, Euro and Dollar accounts. The witness told the tribunal that all the accounts were domiciliary, and were opened and managed at the branch of the bank in Wuse 2, Abuja.

Before Mrs. Okagbue mounted the witness box, the PW-2, who is a retired Director at the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, Mr. Awal Yakassai, told the Mr. Umar led three-man panel that contrary to what was alleged in the media, he said the suspended CJN owned only five houses.

He said it was not true that CCB investigators linked the ownership of 55 houses to the defendant. The witness made the disclosure after he was shown copies of Justice Onnoghen’s asset declaration forms, which the Federal Government tendered in evidence before the CCT.

The embattled CJN was said to have submitted the forms marked as Exhibit 2 and 3, to the CCB in 2014 and 2016.

Answering questions under cross-examination, the PW-2, told the tribunal that he served at the CCB for 29 years before he retired in April 2018. He admitted that the CCB was yet to verify Justice Onnoghen’s assets with a view to finding out if he made false declarations. Aside allegation that he failed to declare his assets as prescribed by the law, FG had in the charge marked CCT/ABJ/01/19, FG, alleged that Onnoghen operated five foreign bank accounts, contrary to section 15(2) of Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.

FG had insisted that it was the CCB that okayed Onnoghen’s trial based on certain infractions that were discovered in his asset declaration forms.

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Breaking: Again, CCT Judgment On Walter Onnog‎hen Shifted

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The judgment of the Code of Conduct Tribunal on Justice Walter Onnoghen, who is being prosecuted on charges of assets declaration breaches, has been shifted from 9am, the original scheduled time, till noon on Thursday.

Onnoghen had arrived the premises of the tribunal at about 8.40am ahead of the judgment.

Only two of his lawyers and a handful of his aides were seated in the courtroom when a court official announced the postponement at about 9am.

No member of the prosecution team was in court when the postponement was announced

None of them arrived as of the time of filing this report at about 9.11am.

Onnoghen had yet to step out ‎of his vehicle as of the time the postponement was announced.

His convoy left the premises as soon as the information about the new development reached him.

The Chairman of the CCT, Danladi Umar, after the prosecution and the defence made closing arguments on Monday, specifically fixed judgment for 9am on Thursday‎, a departure from the usual 10am sitting time of the tribunal.

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AMBODE RECEIVES UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE TROPHY IN LAGOS

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Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday received the UEFA Champions League Trophy alongside its Ambassador and former captain of Barcelona FC of Spain, Carles Puyol in Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja.

Puyol, a three-time Champions League winner is in Nigeria on a three-day visit to lead the UEFA Champions League Tour connecting with consumers and football lovers.

Governor Ambode, who was represented by the Chairman of Lagos State Sports Commission, Dr Kweku Tandoh, also received Nigerian football legend, Austin JayJay Okocha, who was part of the delegation.

Speaking while receiving the trophy, Governor Ambode expressed excitement with the fact that the organisers of the tour considered Lagos as one of the states to visit, adding that the development was particularly gratifying more so that the synergy between sports and entertainment as well as tourism had been massively played up in the last four years.      

The Governor also lauded the contribution of Puyol and Okocha to the development of the round leather game in Nigeria and worldwide, saying they deserved to be appreciated and celebrated.

“I must say I am very pleased with the organisers of this Trophy Tour for deeming it fit to take the UEFA Champions League Cup to Lagos. We are particularly excited because our administration has focused on the synergy between sports, tourism, entertainment and the arts, among others and the people can see the positive effects of our efforts in that regard.

“We are pleased to also welcome Barcelona FC and Champions League legend, Carles Puyol to Lagos, as well as our legend, JayJay Okocha to Lagos House. Many of us underrate this legend that we have and just yesterday, I understand Puyol had a very difficult time on the field of play in Uyo when JayJay had to give him a few tricks.

“Unfortunately, JayJay did not get to play for Barcelona; he would have lifted the Champions League but I must say we appreciate what Okocha has done for Nigerian football. If you have a player that is sometimes compared to Messi, Maradona and spoken about in the same breath, then we know we have a star in our midst and so I like to thank JayJay for his contribution to football,” Governor Ambode said.  

He said in order to ensure a successful Trophy Tour, the relevant security and government agencies have been contacted, assuring that all the activities lined-up as part of the tour would be hugely successful.

While wishing the team a successful tour in Nigeria, Governor Ambode said the State Government would be glad to receive the trophy back in the State in the nearest future, just as he assured that the government remained committed to make Lagos the sports hub not just in Africa but the entire world.

Speaking earlier, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Breweries Plc, organisers of the Trophy Tour, Mr Jordi Borrut Bel thanked Governor Ambode for warmly receiving the team, saying the Trophy Tour was specifically organised to bring the tournament closer to fans.

He said as part of the tour, there would be a road show from Maryland Bus Stop to Ikeja City Mall, among other activities.   

Besides, he commended Governor Ambode for his well-though out policies and projects in all sectors and sections of the State, saying the Governor deserved to be appreciated for also creating enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the State.

“I will like to say that this visit is a great opportunity for the management team of Nigerian Breweries to appreciate Governor Ambode on the success that he has recorded in the last four years of administering the State which is a testament to the fact that well-thought policies have been implemented as has been witnessed in security, in transportation, in health, in welfare sectors in the State, and particularly in the continuous construction of impactful infrastructure as well as the Governor’s focused and dynamic leadership in the State.

“We also want to thank the Governor for sustaining a supportive business environment in the State,” he said.

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Awolowo Commends Ooni For Positively Showcasing Nigeria To The World

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The Director General of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council(NEPC), Mr Segun Awolowo has desribed the Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II as a unique African traditional ruler with giant srides, commending him for positively shocasing Nigeria and Africa to the world.

The NEPC boss made this assertion in his Abuja office recently while playing host to a delegation from Ooni Ogunwus which was led by the Asoya of Ile Isoya in Osun state, Oba Muraina Adedini in respect of the maidden edition of TellAfrica International Arts & Craft Festival(TIAF) slated for June this year in Baltimore MD, USA and Dublin in Republic of Ireland.

“Kabiyesi Ooni, being a foremost African monarch has undoubtedly lived above expectations going by his giant strides especially in Agriculture, youth empowerment and cultural tourism. He is indeed a great ambassador of our culture who has been positively showcasing Nigeria and Africa to the global community.” Awolowo said

While pointing out the benefits in agriculture, Mr Awolowo urged relevant stakeholders to uphold it and make it the mainstay of the economy. He also mentioned processing of agricultural produce like cashew and cocoa among others, which he said would be better than sending raw goods abroad.

On tourism, Awolowo revealed plans to link TellAfrica up with National Council of Art & Culture(NCAC) for possible collaboration as part of measures to ensure a successful TIAF events as scheduled.

Leader of the Ooni’s team, Oba Muraina Adedini thanked Mr Segun Awolowo and his NEPC team for the honour and respect with which the Oonis delegation was warmly recieved. He said the contributions of the Ooni Ogunwusi towards the development of agriculture and tourism are unprecedented which have always been supported by the Federal Government.

While seeking unflinching support of the NEPC on the forthcoming Art & Craft festival and other international programmes of Ooni Ogunwusi, he stated that the collaboration Between the House of Oduduwa/TellAfrica and NEPC will make huge impact on the Nigerian Art and cultural tourism sector.

Ooni’s director of media and public affairs, Comrade Moses Olafare had earlier while introducing the Ooni’s team told the NEPC that Ooni Ogunwusi has adopted Agriculture and tourism as greatest potentials for developing the Nigerian youths, adding that productively utilizing the both sectors will immensely lead to an immeasurable economic properity.

Olafare enumerated how NEPC and the House of Oduduwa are in tandem, particularly through the exportation of non oil products and promotion of tourism in the country through cultural festivals like TIAF.

The maidden edition of the Ooni’s TellAfrica International Art and Craft Festival(TIAF 2019) is billed to hold in Baltimore USA from 13th to 16th and in Dublin, Ireland from 24th to 30th, June 2019.

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